GANS, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation is contributing $500,000 to the Town of Gans to help significantly bolster the town’s water infrastructure needs and make a positive impact in the community for generations.
Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., Deputy Chief Bryan Warner, District 6 Councilor Daryl Legg and Chief of Staff Corey Bunch visited Gans and met with municipal officials Dec. 9 to sign a Memorandum of Understanding for the contribution.
“This is, I think, one of the most impactful infrastructure investments that we’ve had the good fortune to be a part of here in the town of Gans,” Chief Hoskin Jr. said. “This project is about helping a community that needs to increase its water capacity. It’s about modernizing infrastructure. Both modernizing and expanding capacity means a safer community and one that is able to grow. The Cherokee Nation wanted to be a part of this project because all of the communities that we serve are important and they each have their own needs. For Gans, expanded and improved water infrastructure is critical to its future growth.”
The $500,000 investment will replace water lines to Gans’ existing water storage tank and allow the town to install an additional water storage tank, gate valves, and fire hydrants.
“These projects provide opportunity for communities. While the rest of the world may sometimes forget about the needs of some of our smaller communities, the Cherokee Nation will never forget about these communities,” said Deputy Chief Warner. “This project provides a capacity to grow for the town of Gans. When we can all get in here and lock arms and work together with that spirit of gadugi, it’s very important and impactful.”
The project will also add 270 water meters in Gans. Town officials said they have had to turn away families and businesses interested in moving to the town in recent years due to the inability to provide additional water infrastructure.
“As of today, if somebody went to Gans to build a home, they would not be allowed water. But this project is going to open the door up for so many things: business, residential, you name it,” Councilor Legg said.
Funds are being provided through Cherokee Nation’s COVID-19 Respond, Recover and Rebuild initiative.
“We have had to turn away people weekly who come in and inquire about buying land, building houses, and building businesses,” Gans Mayor Gary McGinnis said. “We had to tell them no, which is very disturbing when you’re trying to build something to leave to your children and the next generations. So it has been my goal and the community’s goal to find a way, but without the resources to do that, it’s very difficult. I’m so thankful for the Cherokee Nation because this is the first step to moving the town in that new direction of growing, expanding and building something that we can be proud of.”